Celiac disease affects approximately one in a hundred people. It can develop at any age, and usually, symptoms will manifest from inflammation of the gastro-intestinal tract caused by an extreme sensitivity to gluten. Common manifestations include gastric distress, and sometimes weight loss through inadequate nutrient absorption – weight gain is also possible, but rarer.
Is Celiac Disease Hereditary?
However, if you have celiac disease in your family and don’t have classic gastric symptoms, don’t assume that you are unaffected. Celiac disease is far more common in family groups, and is hereditary. Although the exact pattern is unknown, if a first-degree relative – a parent or sibling – has celiac disease, you have a greatly-increased risk of developing it to. In addition, if your child has the condition, it’s worth being tested, as they will have inherited the gene from one or both parents.
Non-classic celiac disease is harder to spot – you or your family may be completely asymptomatic, or have non-gastric signs such as joint pain, headaches, or general fatigue for seemingly no reason. Again, if close family have had a celiac diagnosis, or you suspect that there might be more to a relative’s constant upset stomachs and skin rashes than meets the eye, talk to your doctor about your family history.
As a final non-celiac note, auto-immune disorders do have a tendency to group together, so keep a keen watch on both your and your family’s health, and if anything seems out of the ordinary – particularly inflammation or tiredness which isn’t cured by rest or a night’s sleep – then there may be something that needs investigation by a doctor.
A diagnosis isn’t the end of the world; although celiac disease is hereditary, symptoms generally disappear quickly once you are on a strict gluten-free diet, and your gut has a chance to heal. Use the opportunity to overhaul your eating as a family, and make sure you’re all eating a healthy, balanced diet.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. All material provided on this Site is provided for information purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition, before undertaking any diet, exercise, other health program, or other procedure set out on this Site.